My Top 10 Favorite Songs by The Smashing Pumpkins
Today the frontman for my all time favorite band The Smashing Pumpkins turns 52. So in honor of William Corgan’s birthday, I thought this weeks blog would center the Pumpkins!
10. Ava Adore (1998)
One of the Pumpkins more aggressive songs, “Ava Adore” from their 1998 gothic-alternative album Adore is hands down one of my favorite Pumpkins songs. And arguably the best guitar solo the Pumpkins have ever made. WPC and James Iha are both guitar gods after all. Any how, this is by far one of my favorite SP songs and songs in general. Probably their darkest album, WPC wrote most of it in 1997 at the time of his divorce.
9. The Everlasting Gaze (2000)
Off their shoegazing album “Machina – The Machines Of God” – this song proves its case as one of the best ever. The heavy thrashing riffs kicking the song off then going off into the beautiful synth break in the chorus filled along with beautiful lyrics. The song, as the majority of the album is about wrapping your head around God and Christ consciousness. The Everlasting Gaze to my understanding is a song about how all of us want a place in Heaven on some level even though some of us don’t believe in it, and how it’s probably not going to be crowded when you get there. The line “We all want to hold in the everlasting gaze”, says it all. What I think it means is we all want to go to heaven, but just because you want that doesn’t mean you are going to get there. I know I got a bit off topic with this one, but the lyrics is one of the many reasons I love the song.
8. Rocket (1993)
Off my personal favorite SP album Siamese Dream, this alt rock anthem prove its case. This was the second song they played when I saw them live approaching a year ago and it’s definitely and essential and underrated SP song. With debatable lyrics, and killer guitar hooks “Rocket” is clearly one of the greatest songs of the decade. And there was a lot of great songs put out then.
7. Cherub Rock (1993)
One of the better known SP songs, Cherub Rock is the opening energetic and feisty track off of Siamese Dream. Corgan plays octaves throughout the song instead of chords which is a really fun thing to do. And the guitar solo is magnificent, and in my opinion the best phaser solo ever made. Corgan is a mind blowingly amazing guitarist, and this song shows off his talents not only as musician – but a composer and songwriter.
6. Rhinoceros (1991)
Rhinoceros is clearly the best song off of SP’s first album Gish. From the soft poppy beginning to straight up rocking, also notably their most famous solo. Funny thing is throughout Gish there was no pedals used at all. Just a guitar and an
amp. I don’t really love hard rock, but Gish is a fantastic album. I love alternative rock, which is what the Pumpkins primary genre is. And I think the first thing I’ll ask Billy Corgan when I meet him someday is, “what does she know?!”
5. 1979 (1995)
As far as people know the Pumpkins by, this is their crowing achievement. Their most popular song, and definitely one of their best. Mellow and happy, 1979 brings us back to a certain time and place and for the younger fans out there we get nostalgic about stuff we don’t even know about. It’s an incredibly difficult song on guitar, how Corgan sings and plays it at the same time is beyond me. And the drum intro Jimmy Chamberlin does is probably the best drum intro of the decade.
4. Disarm (1993)
The acoustic song Disarm is not only one of the best Smashing Pumpkins songs but also notably one of the most emotional and passionate songs in rock. The songs centers the sad childhood of frontman Billy Corgan with a heroin addicted angry father and him trying to break free of the little boy he once was. Nearly teared up when I saw em live last summer and they opened with it. Depressing topic? Maybe so, but it’s an amazing song. Also, I love the violin work in this song.
3. Mayonnaise (1993)
Some of the best dual guitar work ever made, Mayonnaise from Siamese Dream proves it’s case. The chord progression was originally written by James Iha, and interestingly enough his guitar is in a completely different tuning than Billy Corgan throughout the song. It’s definitely one of my favorite songs, just raw and emotional and guitar heavy. All notable things I look for in music. Similar to 1979, it makes me have memories I know nothing about.
2. Today (1993)
This is probably the most optimistic song ever made. You simply can’t listen to this song and stay in a bad mood. This is a song about staying positive even at the worst of times. At the time of Siamese Dream Corgan was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and was gaining weight. Alongside suicudal thoughts as the band was only locally famous before Siamese Dream, this song is about forgetting about it and staying positive. About not having no In your heart, telling yourself things will work out even though you have no evidence that they will for sure.
1. Bullet With Butterfly Wings (1995)
This is without question my favorite song of the 90’s. And the 90’s is my favorite decade for music. I can’t put into many words about what this song is to me, it would be so long that it would be anther blog, which funny enough I’ve already written in the past. This is the first song by them I heard, and I fell in love with the band immediately because of it. This alt rock anthem is definitely a life changer, hearing it for the thousandth time feels like the first time. To put it into words, you’d have to check my other blog.
Any how, thanks for reading. Here’s a shortlist of honorable mentions…
11. Tonight, Tonight (1995)
12. Perfect (1998)
13. Silvery Sometimes Ghosts (2018)
14. Bodies (1995)
15. I Am One (1991)
16. Soma (1993)
17. Pale Horse (2012)
18. Siva (1991)
19. Stand Inside Your Love (2000)
20. Zero (1995)
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